Americana: White-Collared

Casting about for an expert to lecture its investigators on white-collar crime. California's department of justice hired a man with firsthand experience: Joseph L. Bentz Jr., who had avoided prosecution for his part in embezzling millions by agreeing to testify for the authorities. By all accounts, Bentz, 44, was an excellent instructor. "He was fascinating," recalls Roy G. Leyrer, who ran the program. "He was very willing to discuss all aspects of the con game. I wish I could get a few more guys like him. Policemen and other investigators came from all over the country to hear him."

Now Bentz's two-year...

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